City Council on Broadway Road Widening: Nothing to See Here

As reported by the Denver Post’s Jon Murray, the City Council approved a $12 million contract last week that paves the way for a massive road expansion where Broadway meets I-25.

On some blocks the street will become more than 100 feet wide, making the area more hostile for people walking and biking, despite the wider sidewalks that planners tacked on. The road widening is even more short-sighted when you consider the neighborhood is supposed to develop into a walkable, bikeable “Midtown of Denver” anchored by the I-25 and Broadway RTD station.

Worth some healthy debate at least, right? Not on the City Council, which rushed it through as a “consent” item. (In case you can’t understand the secretary’s speed-talking in this video, she reads out the I-25 and Broadway project at the 19-second mark.)

Residents don’t want wider streets in their neighborhood, even if suburban drivers getting on and off the highway do. But despite community pushback, City Councilman Jolon Clark — despite his support for other biking and walking infrastructure — and his predecessor Chris Nevitt did nothing to stop the project, and neither did the rest of City Council.

For readers who are curious about how this sausage got made, consent agendas are usually reserved for non-controversial issues that don’t need much public vetting. To the council, apparently, this project is one of them. Their decision to set up this speed vote with no discussion was made back in November.